Regional conference on 'Managing Protected Areas: Shifting Paradigm' was held at Kathmandu, Nepal between 22nd and 25th April 2007.
DNPWC was the lead institution in hosting this regional conference in Nepal with support from NTNC as the main organizer followed by ICIMOD, IUCN Nepal, WWF Nepal as co-organizers. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) funded NTNC to organize the conference through technical, financial and advisory services. The objectives of the conference were; first, sharing regional experiences and knowledge in protected area management, secondly, learning from best practices in protected area management in the region and thirdly, strengthening protected area network in the region. Protected area managers, conservationists, scientists from 13 South Asian countries participated the conference. Thirty different papers were presented from various countries on 3 themes viz-ecosystem management, governance in protected area management and economic tools for biodiversity conservation. This conference was inaugurated by the Honorable Minister for Forests and Soil Conservation Mr. Matrika Prasad Yadav by lightening the panas. Minister Yadav stated that the traditional thinking should be replaced by new and innovative ideas to make conservation effective for the well being of the Nepalese people. Mr. Jeffrey McNeely, Chief Scientists of IUCN Headquarters in his key note address focused on management challenges in making societies adaptive to climate change, building public support for protected area management, helping local people capture of benefits from protected areas, recognizing new values of PAs and integrating PAs into regional planning. Dr. Krishna C Paudel, Director General of DNPWC welcomed the participants. The inaugural session was chaired by Mr. Tirtha Raj Sharma, Secretary of Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation. Secreatry Sharma highlighted the conservation efforts made by the Government of Nepal and expected the practical suggestions/recommendations from the 4 days' gathering for securing better future of protected areas.